Standing vs. Sitting for the Pledge
Many communities in America have had at least one tiff or dispute about standing verses sitting during the Pledge of Allegiance or National Anthem. August 26, 2016 was the date when NFL player Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem. This peaceful protest spiked many debates about why or why not someone should sit for the pledge of allegiance.
“I’m not anti-American. I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to help make America better. I think having these conversations helps everybody have a better understanding of where everybody is coming from,” Kaepernick said.
High school students are among this population who now put the necessity to stand for the pledge of allegiance up to question. Morning after morning, more and more students begin staying seated during the pledge, each for their own reason. Some face harassment for this, some are encouraged- but either way, students can’t be forced to stand in public high schools.
Freedom Forum Institute stated, “In the 1943 case West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, the Supreme Court said students who objected to the flag salute and mandatory Pledge recitation for religious reasons could not be forced to participate.”
Though students aren’t required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, in almost all states students are given the opportunity to do so. Here at Mishawaka High School, each morning there is a moment of silence followed by the pledge being recited over the PA system.
One Texas student, Emily Thomas, said, “Why sit for the pledge to the country that lets you love who you want to love, dress how you want to dress, and say what you want to say?”
While on the other hand, some students are very passionate about how this idea of equality has yet to be met in America.
One anonymous student said, “Until there is liberty and justice for all, the pledge is incorrect and I will not stand.” And another, “I feel it contradicts itself and is hypocritical.”
While some students feel that the flag does not represent anything but “Making America look like more of a cult.” Another anonymous student explains: “It is a way to respect what our forefathers fought for; it is also respectful to the people that are dying for our freedom.”
Though there are many opinions on the dispute- most believe they each have their own validity. While the argument can cause arguments and harassment in some cases- in America each person is entitled to their own opinion- how others react to it isn’t included in the law.